Masai Ujiri fined $35,000 for 'We don't give a s--- about it' comment

Masai Ujiri has to watch his language from now on.  (USATSI)
Masai Ujiri has to watch his language from now on. (USATSI)

The NBA announced on Sunday that Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri has been fined $35,000 and the organization itself has been fined $25,000 for saying, "We don't give a shit about 'it!'" before his team opened the playoffs on Saturday.

The punishment was "for using obscene language in a public setting," according to the league. It is likely harsher than it would be otherwise because, in the exact same scenario last year, he used "F--- Brooklyn!" as a rally cry outside of the Air Canada Centre. He was fined $25,000 for that

"I have the deepest respect for Commissioner Silver and the NBA, and while showing passion for our team and fans I will choose my words more ‎carefully in the future so as not to indicate otherwise," Ujiri said in a statement. "I apologize and have acknowledged the fine with the Commissioner. I consider the matter closed and our sole focus is on the playoffs."

The severity of the fine is a little surprisin, given that this time Ujiri didn't specifically denigrate a team or a player. He was responding to comments from Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce -- ironically, Ujiri initially said he didn't have enough money to fire back at Pierce -- but didn't actually say anything about Pierce himself. It seems odd to fine a guy for attacking the concept of an "it" factor, even if he used profane language.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a halftime interview on TSN that what Ujiri said was not appropriate:

It all seemed like harmless fun to me, but maybe that's why I'm not in charge of a professional sports league. Ujiri will probably watch his language when speaking publicly for the next little while.

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

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